I miss my parents terribly. My heart aches for what should have been. It simply wasn't supposed to be this way. Who would ever imagine that within 15 months both of your parent's would die? It simply wasn't in my plans...or theirs, for that matter. Still, I find myself here...in this place of grieving, in spite of my well-laid plans.
Grief is such a strange road to walk. At times, I am completely at peace. I am confident that my Mom and Dad are with Jesus. There is simply no greater comfort. I know because of His saving work on the cross, I can be with them again someday in Heaven. While there is tremendous peace, it doesn't erase the pain of loss. It's a source of comfort - but, not a cure.
Some days, it's as if a tsunami of grief and sadness threaten to overcome me. Usually, these feelings creep into my mind late at night...when the duties of my day are finished. My hands are idle, but my mind is not. At times, I struggle to discern if this is simply the way of grief or if it's a spiritual battle. Is the enemy whispering worry into my heart and mind? I am being tempted to replay the past instead of looking to the future?
At times, I feel simply overcome with grief. The loss is tremendous. The pain goes deep. I enjoyed a great relationship, a friendship, with my Mom and Dad. They loved me, my husband, and my little boys so well. I miss their support and encouragement. I miss the way my mom would celebrate with me when one of my kiddos accomplished something. I miss my dad saying, "Well, hello girls!" when he walked into our house to find my boys waiting for him to arrive. I miss my mom helping me clean the kitchen and folding laundry when she visited...she wanted to bless me.
My mind is flooded with images of my parents tonight. I can see vividly my sweet mom's face as I prayed with her just before her surgery. While she would miraculously survive the complicated procedure to save her life...I would never really see her again. Days later, we learned that she had no brain function. She was already gone. Shocking - she had been healthy just days before. I'm overcome with sadness.
I remember walking into my dad's hospital room just eleven months later to find him attached to all sorts of wires and tubes. He had suffered a massive heart attack. The cardiologist explained that he had literally suffered from a "broken heart." The physical heart is enlarged as a result of some major emotional trauma. Typically, the heart returns to normal size within a couple of months. Not so with my dad. He suffered physically for months, but managed to make some unforgettable memories with his family along the way. We all showered him with love and he showered us, too. In my mind, I can see him sitting in a wheelchair in the cardiologist's office, waiting for his pacemaker to be turned off. He had made peace and he was ready to go home to Heaven. The tsunami of grief threatens to overwhelm me again.
After wading through the sadness, hot tears on my cheeks, and a heaviness in my heart...I realize that I am not overcome. Grief and sadness may threaten to rob me of my joy, but it's impossible. I will not be overcome because of Jesus. His death and resurrection have overcome death and despair. Jesus has taken my sadness, grief, and sin as His own...and overcome death forever. Even the most powerful feeling cannot change that. Thanks be to God.
"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16: 32-33